This morning when I woke up, I drew back the curtains and climbed back into bed with your Father. We both quietly gazed out at the misty rain over the paddocks, luscious green with autumns’ cooler temperatures. A mob of sheep and their newly born lambs grazed in the property across the road. The clouds belied their leaden colour with softness and lightness as they tended to the landscape below.
I commented on how beautiful it looked and how lucky we were to live in such a lovely place. I swelled with gratitude and closed my eyes just to dwell in it completely. As I sat there, I recalled my earlier, younger days and noted the absence of gratitude. I did not accept the gift of who I was, so I could not genuinely experience gratitude in my life.
Gratitude cannot be taught or forced. Sometimes we are told, particularly as children, that we are ungrateful. That usually makes us feel bad. It is very difficult to find gratitude from that place of feeling wrong or shameful or guilty. These experiences are the opposite of gratitude.
Gratitude is an experience, not just a concept. I have discovered all of my experiences of pure gratitude come unprompted and unanticipated. Gratitude is the signal, for me, that I am deeply present. It is a signal, a vibration, of love.
Brene Brown points to the present moment when she says; “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness, it is right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”
In a conversation with Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle beautifully describes gratitude as; “When you go deeply into the present, gratitude arises spontaneously, even if it’s just gratitude for breathing, gratitude for the aliveness that you feel in your body. Gratitude is there when you acknowledge the aliveness of the present moment; that’s the foundation for successful living”.
Gratitude flows through us, making us aware of the beauty of that moment. You have recently taken to spotting airplanes flying high in the sky over the farm. You call out excitedly for us to “OOK!!!” as we all crane to see the wispy white streak that follows the plane. I spot it for a moment but then I prefer to watch you, your little face beaming with fascination and your heart filled with gratitude. The wondrous thing is that you don’t label these emotions yet, you have the freedom to just allow them to come, and to be those feelings.
Outside now, the rain has cleared and the clouds are lifting. A rainbow is forming to the east.
If love is a rainbow, then gratitude is indigo. It is simply a different shade of love, but it is love none the less.
Seamus there is beauty everywhere, at every moment. Being present is the conduit for gratitude. Then you will experience the real meaning of prayer. You will not feel the desire to ask for anything for you will recognise that you have it all. Maya Angelou said; “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer”In that recognition you will experience a deep thanks, an overwhelming gratitude, for all that is. And all that is, is love.
I am love, you are love, and for that I am eternally grateful.
“Once you understand the feeling of gratitude and allow it to sink deeply within you, you will start feeling grateful for everything. And the more grateful you are, the less complaining, grumbling. Once complaining disappears, misery disappears. It exists with complaints.
It is hooked with complaints and with the complaining mind. Misery is impossible with gratefulness. This is one of the most important secrets to learn.” – Osho